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Role of the Independent Budget Analyst

Review of Annual Budget

The primary and most significant responsibility of the IBA is to annually review and analyze the Mayor's Proposed Budget, and to publish a detailed report of the analysis within two weeks of the release of the budget.

This report includes a review of Citywide policy issues and revenue estimates, as well as individual department reviews. It also identifies issues that deserve further attention and discussion during the budget hearing process. This report focuses on policy analysis; financial practices; legal requirements; clarity and transparency for the public; documentation and justification of proposals; potential community and employee impacts; and legislative/community priorities.

Following the community and City Council input process and the receipt of possible technical revisions from the Mayor, including revised revenue estimates, the IBA makes final recommendations for changes to the Mayor's Proposed Budget. The City Council relies upon these recommendations in its final budget deliberations.

Legislative Review

Additionally, the IBA reviews all items docketed for consideration by the legislative body, including the City Council, the Redevelopment Agency, and the Housing Authority. The purpose of the review of these items by the IBA is to determine and analyze policy and fiscal impacts of the proposed legislative actions, often through comparisons with other jurisdictions, or through the consultation of best practices or recommendations adopted by government oversight and professional organizations.

Financial Monitoring

During the budget year, following the adoption of the budget, the IBA reviews and analyzes monthly revenue and expenditure reports by the City Comptroller and quarterly financial monitoring and projection reports prepared by the Financial Management Department. Budgetary adjustments are also reviewed throughout the year to evaluate the need, timing and justification of requests.

Resource to City Council and its Committees

The IBA is a resource to the City Council, and participates in all meetings of the City Council, and its six standing subcommittees. IBA staff is assigned to each of the specific committees to provide support in each of the committee areas, which include Rules, Open Government and Intergovernmental Relations, Natural Resources & Culture, Public Safety & Neighborhood Services, Land Use & Housing, Budget & Finance, and Audit. In addition, an ad-hoc committee has been formed for Fire Prevention and Recovery. The IBA also participates in various task forces and committees, and serves as a member of the Managed Competition Independent Review Board. Recently, the IBA provided key support to the Charter Review Committee.

Proactive Reports

Throughout the year, the IBA often initiates proactive reports on key topics deserving special attention, or to track and report progress to the City Council and the public on important initiatives. Examples include reports on pension issues, the structural budget deficit, and ongoing issues related to Business Process Reengineering and Managed Competition.